Home » Location » Barbershop » Blond, Black and Pink (Part 16)

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In Part 15 Cindi had discovered that she wanted to get her hair cut. When she received approval from her Father, her Mother Michelle had also said she wanted to get hers cut also. James was completely agreeable and Michelle had felt a long held inhibition disappear. In a much earlier episode April Douglas had told some of the other women at the barbecue that she was going to get her hair cut. In this episode these haircuts and others come about at Kate’s Barbershop.

Week 6 Continued

Saturday at Kate’s Barber shop

“Mother, when are we going to Kate’s shop? The guys are coming over here this afternoon,” Cindi asked.

“I want to get there by ten Cindi. That should give us enough time and still get back by noon,” Michelle responded.

“They’re not supposed to get her before one O’clock, but could we go a little earlier. I’m ready to go now and the shop opens at nine,” Cindi said.

“I don’t see why not Cindi. Let me finish my coffee. Go tell you Father we’re leaving, then we’ll head over there.” Michelle responded.

Cindi ran to her Father’s office in the basement to deliver the message. They were in the van and on their way in short order.

They arrived a few minutes before nine thirty. The little bell chimed merrily and Kate turned to greet them. “Hello, have a seat and I’ll be with you in about ten minutes.”

“Are you Kate,” Cindi inquired, somewhat to the embarrassment of Michelle.

“Why, yes I am. And who are you,” Kate asked.

“I’m Cindi. I’m a friend of Melissa and this is my Mother. I going to get my hair cut. Not as short as Penny or Beth or Audra, but shorter and a little different,” Cindi said with determination.

“Well, hello Cindi. I’ve heard your name mentioned by your friends. I’m sure I can help you achieve your goal. And what about you Ma’am,” Kate inquired.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to get mine cut too. I just haven’t decided what I want yet. Oh, and I’m Michelle.”

“Both of you have quite beautiful hair. It will be a pleasure to work with it. Michelle you might find something interesting in one of my books there in the back. I don’t have much in the way of longer haircuts. They are mostly quite short, but don’t worry. I can do any style you want,” she reassured her.

“I’m thinking of getting it cut short, so maybe I will find something interesting,” Michelle responded.

“Mother! Are you really thinking of get a short cut?” Cindi exclaimed

“Actually, I’m pretty sure I am Cindi. Your Father seemed very comfortable with the idea. I think he has completely changed his mind after seeing Heather and Steffie. I finally realized that I did admire their haircuts and would like a daring short cut myself. I don’t think I’ll get it buzzed just yet. I want to try something else first,” Michelle answered.

“That’s great Mother. I think you would look super with it short,” Cindi said.

“You’ve never told me how you’re getting yours cut Cindi. Can you let me in on the secret?” Michelle asked. She had told Cindi she could have it cut however she wanted so long as it was not a wild punk style.

“OK. I’ll explain it to Kate and to you at the same time,” she agreed.

Kate had almost finished her customer, a small girl a few years younger than Cindi with fiery red hair, cut in a style that had caught Michelle’s attention. It was a little like a pixie, but the top had been left long and came forward to form thick bangs a half inch above her brows. The sides had been cut around her ears leaving little pointy sideburns and tapered to blend with the top hair. The back had a neat hairline and was tapered up to meet the longer hair coming down from the crown. Michelle thought it was not a bowl cut – she had seen them and they always had a blunt line around the head rather than being tapered. She was intrigued by it.

“There you go Yvonne. Just the way you like it,” Kate said as she helped her down from the booster she was sitting on. “You can sit over there. You Mom should be back in a few minutes.

Kate removed the booster. Cindi would obviously not need it. She brushed off the seat and swept up the modest amount of hair that was on the floor.

“I’m ready for you Cindi. What do you have in mind?” Kate asked.

“I have a picture that is almost what I want. I think I can explain the rest,” Cindi said as she took a folded paper out of her pocket. She unfolded it and tried to flatten it.

The girl in the picture had her hair in a high, but fairly long pony tail. What made it interesting was that all the hair in back up to a line at the top of her ear had been carefully tapered to form a fairly thick wedge.

“I want the back like that, but with it a little higher so that it comes all the way around to the front and has little points here,” Cindi explained indicating the area at the front sideburn area of her ears. “When I put it in a pony tail it should show all the way around.”

“I think I know exactly what you want Cindi. It’s called an undercut. When you wear your hair down it’s almost invisible except for the little pointy sideburns, but when you put it up and back it is very dramatic looking. Are you going to leave it the same length,” Kate asked.

“No, I want it just long enough to be able to have a short pony tail. And I want some bangs too. Not real thick ones. Sort of thin,” She answered.

Michelle was surprised at this interesting development. “My, that’s a very interesting style Cindi. What do you think of her idea Kate. I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Michelle interjected.

“I have done it on quite a number of girls and women too for that matter. Many of them are a lot more radical than what Cindi is asking for. It will look perfectly normal when she wears it down, but she will look quite chic with it up. The bangs will make the look very nice with it up as well as with it down,” Kate explained.

“Well it’s your choice Cindi. Now that I’ve heard Kate explain it I’m beginning to think it will be an interesting and fun style,” Michelle said giving her tacit approval to Cindi’s choice.

“I guess we should get started Cindi. Are you ready,” Kate asked.

“I really am,” she responded grinning broadly. “Will you use clippers to cut it,” Cindi asked.

“I don’t have to. I can use scissors if you want.” Kate told her.

“That’s not what I meant. I want to feel what it’s like to have it cut with clippers,” Cindi explained.

“Good idea Cindi. I like to use clippers. Almost everybody likes the feel of them,” Kate responded cheerfully. “I’m sure you will too.”

She had caped Cindi and was parting off her hair at the line where she thought it should be cut to make the style work.

“Cindi, I’ve parted it off about where you indicated, but I think it should be a little higher to make it look good. It will still be perfectly normal looking with it down,” Kate added.

“How much higher should it be? Cindi asked.

“Here, I’ll show you.” She let the hair on that side down and make the part an inch higher. It was now almost two inches above the top of Cindi’s ear. Kate new from experience that the style worked best at that height or even higher. Otherwise she would advise Cindi not to undercut the sides at all – just make the little pointed sideburns.

“Cindy examined the result critically. “Are you sure it won’t look too wild?” she asked a little hesitantly.

“Definitely not Cindy. It just needs a little more definition on the sides. On the other hand, you could do the back and not undercut the sides at all. I can still give you the little pointed sideburns. The back part would look very cool with your hair in a ponytail and the sideburns and bangs would add some more zing, so to speak,” Kate said, quickly giving Cindi the option, even though she hoped Cindi would go for the more interesting – in Kate’s view – effect.

“I really want the undercut all around. If you think i
t will look good, then go ahead,” Cindi said finally.

“Good. You won’t regret it. It will look terrific when I’m finished,” Kate told her.

Kate proceeded to part Cindi’s hair at the line she had shown her and to pin up all the hair above the line.

“OK, I’m ready to start Cindi, but you have to give me the word. You can still change your mind if you want,” Kate told her. She sensed that Cindi was still a little hesitant. She never wanted to cut anyone’s hair short if they were not ready to have it done.

Cindi didn’t say anything for a long moment. Finally she turned to look at Kate. “I really do want it cut like this. When I came in I thought I was really ready, but when you were about to start it got a little scary. Maybe I should have it cut the way you said, just undercut it in the back and make the little pointed sideburns,” Cindi said, her voice betraying her misgivings.

“It’s natural to be nervous when you make a big change even when you are eager to do it.” Kate reassured her. “Taking it in stages is a good idea when you discover you are not completely ready. You can always take the next step when you get it cut again.”

“Thanks, Kate. I’ll just take the first step this time,” Cindi decided.

“OK. It will look very cute and even a little daring that way. Let’s get started,” Kate said cheerfully.

She re-parted Cindi’s hair so that there was a part line in an arc around the back of her head that began at the highest point of the hairline around Cindi’s ear and went evenly around her head. This would allow Kate to cut the back a little shorter and still allow for a nice short pony tail.

“Here goes Cindy,” Kate said as she began cutting the hair hanging down Cindi’s back. She used scissors, cutting it roughly about two inches from the scalp. In less than two minutes she had reduced the area to two inches.

“Now I can use the clippers Cindi. That’s the best way to get a nice even cut,” she told Cindi as she snapped a number six guide onto her large clippers. She turned them on. Put your head way down Cindi, so I can reach the back more easily.”

Kate pushed the clippers up the back of Cindi’s head while holding her head down and making sure no hair fell from the top. She had felt Cindi jerk slightly as the clippers had touched her neck. She smiled. Working quickly and confidently she proceeded to reduce the back to three quarters of an inch except at the top where it would be a little longer. She would need to use scissors and comb to do that part to her satisfaction.

“Well, how did you like the feel of my clippers?” she asked Cindi.

“It felt neat, Kate,” Cindi answered. “I liked the way it felt.”

“I’m not done yet and so you’ll get to feel it some more,” Kate said as she replaced the number six with a number four. “It takes several different guides lengths to get it tapered just right. Here goes again,” Kate told her as she used the clippers again, this time going up about half way before she lifted the clippers off. She repeated the process once again with a number two guide. She decided to wait until later to use the number one guide and to decide how to do the hairline.

“I’m nearly finished with the clippers Cindi. I’ll use them a little later, but now I have to give this undercut a nice taper so that it looks perfect when you show it off,” she said with a little laugh.

“The clippers felt nice,” Kate.

“They’ll feel even better when you decide to do the sides with an undercut,” Kate told her. She had already started the scissors and comb process of getting the taper finished to her satisfaction.

Michelle had been waiting for a chance to talk to Kate. “Kate, is there a name for the haircut that you gave to that girl? I thought it was very cute.”

“It’s sort of a geometric cut. Sassoon made it popular back in the sixties. I don’t see it very often anymore, but it does look good on a lot of girls and women.”

“Do you have pictures of haircuts like that in your book?” Michelle asked.

“You bet. Back there in the big scrapbook there is a section called cap cuts. It has a number of examples and variations. In a way the geometric style is like a long pixie, so you might want to take a look at the pixie section. There are a lot of examples of women with very attractive pixie cuts. It’s not just for little girls you know,” she said laughing.

“That’s terrific Kate. I’ll look at them,” she responded

Kate continued her careful tapering of the wedge that she had created at the back of Cindi’s head. She carefully tapered the edges just behind Cindi’s ears so that it was neat and crisp looking. It was a little more than half an inch long at the part line and tapered perfectly down to a quarter inch. Kate picked up her clippers once again and snapped on the number one guide. She would use it up the back less than an inch and then only the the lower half inch would be clipped to an eighth of an inch. Once she had completed the clippering she used her comb and scissors to make sure it was tapered to her satisfaction. Now she did a critical evaluation of Cindi’s hairline. She wanted it to be sharply defined for the dramatic effect that it should have. Cindi’s hairline was not well defined, so Kate could make it almost any variation. She decided on a simple effect. A slightly curved line at her natural hairline. Kate picked up her little battery operated edger and proceeded to give Cindi a neat perfectly shaped hairline.

“Here, have a look Cindi. Tell me if that’s what you wanted,” Kate said as she held up a mirror so Cindi could see the back of her head.

Cindi looked at it and a big smile appeared on her face. “It’s beautiful Kate, just the way I imagined it should be.”

“Well, I’m relieved. Now I can do the rest,” Kate responded. “The picture you showed me looked like that girl’s hair was about collar length. If you want to be able to pull it all back in a ponytail it might need to be a bit longer than that.”

“I do want to have a ponytail, especially when I’m playing volleyball or soccer. Can you cut it so I can and still make it a lot shorter than it is now,” Cindy asked.

“Actually I have a couple of ideas. If I cut it so that the front is a little longer than the back it will be much easier to pull it all back into a ponytail that will stay, although you might need someone to help you get it in a holder. A high undercut on the sides would make it a lot easier because all the long hair comes from higher on you head and it easily reaches the back. Here I’ll show you,” Kate offered.

Kate released a section of hair at the front just above her ear. “Here use this mirror and I’ll pull this strand back. See, it has to be about this long to get it into a ponytail. When I let it down, it’s all the way to your collar bone or maybe a little longer. So the front will have to be long. I can cut it at an angle like this and the sides will be shorter as I get to the back. Everything will then come together in a ponytail.”

“I didn’t want it that long, but maybe I’ll have to this time, but next time maybe I’ll get it undercut on the sides too, Cindi said.

“Sure Cindi, you have plenty of time to get it just like you want. There’s no rush. Oh, I forgot to ask. Do you want to keep your middle part. I think that this style will look better with an off center part, especially when you have a little fringe of bangs,” Kate advised her.

“I’ll let you decide Kate,” Cindi said.

Kate released all of Cindi’s hair and then parted it first on the right and then on the left. It seemed to fall more naturally from a part on the right side. She pinned it back up except for a one inch section that went around Cindi’s head. Kate started at the back, She began the cut just a little above collar line and carefully cut around to the side angling down as she went. Going to the front she looked in the mirror and moved Cindi’s head so that it was perfectly straight.

“Hold very still Cindi, while I get this line
just right,” she ordered. She positioned her scissors a little above Cindi’s collarbone and began to cut a line that would meet the line that she had created at the back. She saw that she would have to make a slight adjustment there, cutting it so that the middle would be a half inch higher. Not a problem she thought. She knew it would be a pretty dramatic change for Cindi, whose hair was going from below the middle of her back to above her collar in the back and with a distinctive wedged undercut as well.

Kate went to the other side and very carefully determined the point at which to begin the cut. She created the line to a point near the back, then returned to the back to adjust it so that the lines from both the left and right front were continuous and met exactly at the middle of the back. She admired the result and smiled. A little bit of Cindi’s neck would be visible even with her hair down and the angled sides would get people’s attention. She let down another section about an inch thick and repeated the process, making it a tiny bit longer so that there would be a natural tendency for it it curl under. A Third section was completed. The next, and last, section reached up to the part on the right side. The remainder fell to the left or down the back. It was almost complete except for the little sideburns and the bangs. She finished the basic cut noting that she would need to come back to clean it up and make sure everything fell into place easily. Now she was ready to create the sideburns. She parted off a small triangular section of hair in front of Cindi’s ear and held the remainder back with a clip. With a few deft snips she had given Cindi a little pointed sideburn. ‘Not quite enough’ she though and added another thin section of hair which she snipped to match the rest. Using her razor she tapered it a bit. The right side received the same treatment. It was time to create the fringe of bangs that Cindi had requested. She parted off a half inch section across the top. Having bangs would make the heavier side easier to keep from falling into Cindi’s face now that she would be wearing her hair down more than up in a ponytail. She quickly cut her bangs to a length that was almost to the end of her nose. She would make them shorter and much more wispy before she was finished. She turned to pick up her spray bottle when the door opened and the bell rang. Two women entered.

Kate turned to greet them. The second one to enter, who had red hair only a little less striking than Yvonne, spoke before Kate could say anything. “Hi Kate. I’m back. I see Yvonne’s done. She looks absolutely adorable in that style. How much do I owe you?”

Kate laughed. “Well hello yourself Ginger. It’s forty for you both,” Kate answered. She turned to the other woman who had entered. She was immediately struck by her. She was an attractive woman who, if you ignored her hair, must be in her late forties or early fifties. Kate thought her hair was incredibly dramatic. It was silvery white and styled in a medium short bob. Looking at it she knew it was natural. “It will be about forty five minutes before I can get to you Ma’am. I’m about to give Michelle a makeover haircut.”

“No problem. I’ll be happy to wait. You shaved my daughter Jill. She said you would be happy to do mine exactly the way I want it,” she said.

Michelle did a double take. “April, is that you,” she said excitedly.
April did her own double take in turn. “You’re Michelle. We met at the barbecue didn’t we,” she responded.

“That’s right and you told us you were going to get your hair cut. And after making a big to do about not getting my hair cut, here I am all set to get it cut short,” she told April laughing. “I’ve just about settled on what I am going to do and I have a question for Kate.”

“Kate, I’ve found some styles that I really like. One of them has hair almost the same color as mine, but there one here with a cut that I think is really a cap cut that I found quite intriguing. I don’t quite know what it is about her that strikes me so much. Could you take a moment to look at it please.”

“Sure Michelle,” Kate said. One glance at the picture and she knew immediately what it was that had drawn Kate’s attention. “It is interesting isn’t it. Here, I have some other pictures way in the back. Look at them and I’m sure you’ll figure it out. When you do tell me what you think,” She had opened the large binder to a page in the back that had no title. There were two pages of illustrations.

Michelle was immediately ingrossed in what she was seeing. Kate continued to work on Cindi’s bangs carefully thinning them to make them light and airy. When wet they would reach past Cindi’s eyebrows, but when dry and with the help of a little mousse they would curl slightly and form a light frame above her eyes.

“Oh my goodness Kate. I finally got it. They don’t have any eyebrows. That’s what makes their eyes stand out like that. You can’t help but focus on their eyes,” Michelle exclaimed in surprise.

“You’ve got it Michelle. It happens quite often when women look at those pictures,” Kate told her.

“Don’t they look really strange with no eyebrows Mother, Cindi asked.

“I suppose they probably do to most people Cindi, but they just struck me as having very noticeable eyes. Some do look odd, but most don’t, Michelle answered.

“Kate, I don’t know what’s come over me, but I really like the way those geometric haircuts look with their thick bangs and short sides and back. I kept having the reaction that I want my hair cut like that. And I’d really like to see how I would look with no eyebrows too, but I guess that’s out of the question unless I shaved them off or something. There are two in particular that are my favorites. I think I want something that is a little like both,” Michelle told her.

“I’m sure we can do what you want Michelle. I’ll be finished with Cindi in a minute or two. I just have to fluff up her bangs and make any last adjustments to get everything right. Then I want to put it up in a ponytail so Cindi can admire the final result,” Kate said with a little lilt in her voice.

Finally she was finished. “It’s finished Cindi. Here you go,” Kate said as she turned her to fact the mirror.

“Oh! Wow, Kate. That looks really good. I like the way the front turns under and in. How did you do that?” Cindi asked.

“it’s a little trick of the trade Cindi, but you can easily do it with a round brush and a little mousse, even without using a hairdryer. I cut it so it wants to do that,” Kate answered. “I’ll turn you so you can see the sides.” She turned the barber chair a little at a time so Cindi could get a good view. She stopped just short of showing Cindi the back which she wanted to surprise her with.

“It’s really interesting Kate. I like the way it gets a little shorter toward the back. Mother, what do you think of it?” Cindi asked.

“I like it Cindi. It is a very good style and it will be easy to take care of too,” Michelle answered.

“OK, now for the best part – the back,” Kate said as she turned Cindi so she faced away from the mirror. She held up the mirror so Cindi could see the back.

“That’s neat Kate. You can see how the sides meet in the middle and it’s not just straight across,” Cindi observed.

“That’s right Cindi and you can see just a little of your neck too. That gives it a bit of a tease look.” Kate added. “Now I’ll put it in a ponytail for you and you can see the effect that your undercut creates.”

She quickly combed Cindi’s hair back to form a high ponytail. After a couple of tries she had all the long hair gathered and put a clamp around it. It was a short tail – no more than four or five inches. It left the entire wedged undercut completely exposed. The result was quite eye-catching. The little sideburns, which had been hardly noticeable before added to the effect. The wispy bangs now seemed a little flirty.

Cindi had a big smile on her face as she
observed how it looked in back. She had liked the rest of the style, but even though it had some character, it still seemed quite conservative to her. With the undercut visible it took on a much more daring look. At least that is how Cindi saw it.

“I really like it Kate. It’s just what I had in mind. Now I can see how it might look with the sides undercut also. I think I would like that a lot. I’m sure I want to do that next time I get it cut.”

Kate smiled. She thought that another convert to short hair had just emerged. “That’s great Cindi. Do you want me to leave it in the ponytail or let it back down?” She asked.

“I’ll keep it in the ponytail for now. I want to show it off to the kids this afternoon.”

“OK, you’re all done,” Kate said as she brushed off an stray hairs from her neck and cape and unfastened it.

“Cindy, those are two very good looking styles you have. One is very nice and formal, and the other a little daring and jazzy,” April told her.

“Thanks, Ma’am. I like the way it feels in back a lot,” Cindy responded.

“Well, Michelle have you decided what you’re going to do.” Kate asked.

“I think so. Well, actually yes I have. I’m just so taken with the no brow look that I wish I could try it. Otherwise I know exactly what I want. I want a geometric cut almost exactly like the one you gave that young girl Yvonne, I finally remember you called her. Here are three examples. I like them all, but this one is the best although I like the slightly longer bangs on this one, and the neat sideburns on this one. She also has a clippered back which I like. I truly want the back clippered like you did Paula although I don’t know if you can give me the three points like hers,” Michelle said

Michelle was obviously enthusiastic about the idea of getting her hair cut short. James’s statement on Tuesday had set off a chain reaction in her mind and by Saturday any doubt about getting her hair cut had evaporated and any hesitation about how short it should be was gone. She simply liked the style she saw more than the buzz cuts that Leigh and Heather had gotten, although she actually felt completely at ease with the idea of getting it buzzed and the thought of trying it now had been present.

“Let me look at your hairline Michelle. It looks fairly even. I won’t know the best look for it until after it’s cut. I want to check you ears too. Once in a while someone comes in who has prominent ears that wouldn’t look good with a short ear exposing style. I try to get them to adopt a different short style in that case. Not to worry though, you have very nice ears. That style will suit you splendidly. You’ll like it a lot. It looks good between cuts, and is super easy to maintain,” Kate told her. “If you’re ready why don’t you get in my barber chair so I can get started.”

“Yes, by all means let’s get started. I’m very eager to see the new me,” Michelle exclaimed with a laugh as she sat back in the barber chair.

“You will be outstanding with that style and I have an idea for you that you may want to consider,” Kate said as she caped Michelle. “I’ll explain it to you a bit later, after I’ve gotten through the first part of your cut.”

Kate was sure that Michelle was going to be at ease with getting her long hair cut off, so she proceeded quickly. Michelle already had her hair pulled back and caught in a loose tail at the back. “Michelle, I going to remove your ponytail with my big clippers and they are a bit noisy. I don’t want you to be surprised.”

“No, problem, Kate. Go right ahead,” Michelle replied, obviously ready to enjoy the experience.

Without further ado Kate picked up her large clipper, brushed off a little hair left on it from its last use, applied a drop of oil and turned it on. Holding up the tail she pushed the clipper into it close to Michelle’s hairline. Pulling the tail gently to make it taut as the clipper worked its way through the thick mass, It quickly came off it her hand. She snapped off the clipper and dropped the tail in the basket under the counter.

“How long is it Kate. Let me see it, Michelle demanded.

Kate laughed. “It’s pretty long. You’re really into this aren’t you. Here it is.”

Michelle held it up. “I’m glad to have it gone Kate. It’s pretty long isn’t it. Isn’t there some place where it can be donated for charity or something like that?”

“Yes, there is. It’s called ‘Locks of Love.’ It’s very nice hair Michelle. And the color is probably not very common. I’m sure they would appreciate it. I’ll put it in a bag for you. I have a card somewhere that tells you where to send it. That would be a very nice thing to do.”

Kate went to the back of the shop and found a paper bag. The tail, almost 18 inches long filled it. She placed it on the counter and returned to cutting Michelle’s hair.

Released from its pony tail, Michelle’s hair fell into a style similar to the style that Kate had given Cindy – an a-line bob of sorts. Kate proceeded to cut the hair hanging down the sides to about mid-ear length, then combed the hair forward from the crown and cut the bangs roughly so that they were below Michelle’s eyebrows, then combed the hair to one side.

“I’m going to buzz the back. I suspect you’ve never had anyone use electric clippers on you have you?” Kate asked.

“That’s right Kate, but from the way Heather and Leigh talk, it a great feeling and I’m eager to experience it,” Michelle answered.

“They’re right. It is a great feeling. So here goes,” Kate said as she turned on the clipper with a number six guide attached. She had pinned up the hair in back leaving only the hair from the top of Michelle’s ears to hang down. She pushed the clipper up the back to the part line and came away from her head. She repeated the process until all the hair below the part line was a uniform three quarters of an inch long. Changing to a number four guide, she repeated the process, but going up about half way. She would do the final tapering with comb and scissors.

“That was fun Kate. I did like the feeling. It sent a tingle down my spine. I guess someday I’ll just have to get a buzz like Heather to really get the full effect,” Michelle responded.

“Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t often get to give someone with long hair like yours a short haircut who is as ready for it as you are. Most women find it traumatic to one degree or another,” Kate told her.

“I think I’ve always been a short haired girl even when it was long. When my husband James said he was fine with both Cindi and me getting short haircuts I felt liberated. After a couple of days I could hardly wait to get it cut,” Michelle told her.

Kate parted the hair on both sides about an inch above the tops of Michelle’s ears and let down the hair from the back so she could continue the part around the back. She dampened the hair with her spray bottle. With comb, fingers and scissors she began reducing Michelle’s hair to the required length. She lifted up a section and cut it at an angle so that the bottom was about an inch long while becoming progressively longer higher up. She released all the remaining pinned up hair and began cutting small section using the previously cut section as a guide.

“I’m beginning to get there Michelle. Now I can tell you what I had in mind about your eyebrows. Did you notice Paula’s. She lightened them so they didn’t over power her face. They’re relatively thin too and that helps. So here’s what I suggest. Get your brows shaped so they are a good bit thinner than they are now and I’ll lighten them for you. That way you’ll be able to get most of the effect of being browless. And you can still make them darker with a pencil if you want to,” Kate explained.

“Wow, I would never have thought of that. I did notice that Paula had done something interesting to her brows and that her eyes seemed bigger and more noticeable. I thought it was just her eye makeup,” Michelle responded.

“Christine did hers even more th
an Paula. They are quite thin with a high arch and much lighter than they used to be. It makes her eyes seem big and luminous and sets off her bald head beautifully,” Kate told her.

“I think you’ve come up with something I definitely want to try. Did Christine shape hers herself?” she asked.

“I don’t think so Michelle. When I saw them they were very well done, so it may have been done by a professional. You should ask Paula. This is beginning to take take shape nicely Michelle. I still have quite a lot to do on the sides and back, but I think it’s time to trim your new bangs,” Kate said.

Kate combed Michelle’s hair forward from the crown letting it fall to the sides where it tended to do so naturally. Working carefully she trimmed Michelle’s newly created bangs to form a wide thick frame that went from temple to temple less than an inch above her eyebrows. It was obvious that she would need to do some judicious adjusting, but ‘it’s going to look good when it done’ she thought.

Kate continued on the left side combing it up and trimming it carefully to create the effect that was apparent in the picture that Michelle had shown her. ‘It’s tapered up fairly high on the sides and dips down in the back’ she decided to herself. She needed to taper the sides fairly short, careful to leave the sideburn long enough to make it defined with a little curl the way it was on the other picture. In her mind’s eye Kate knew exactly what she wanted to achieve. Using her scissors she trimmed around Michelle’s ear then trimmed the side-burn to make a neat elongated point – almost a kiss curl. She did the right side in the same fashion, then began working on the back. Once again she combed up small sections and cut them a bit shorter so that the transition from the lower part was a little less abrupt. She did not want it to look like a bowl cut, so she made the transition more gradual. Now she began the delicate job of making the back have a perfect taper from hairline to the longer hair that began just above the occipital bone. Comb it up and snip. Comb it sideways and look for any place where there was an abrupt change in length and correct it. After nearly ten minutes of meticulous work Kate was ready to use her clipper again at the very bottom where she would make a short taper with the number one guide.

“I’m going to use my clipper again to get just the right look at the back Michelle,” she said. “It’s taking a little longer than usual because you started with such long hair and I had to get the feel of how it was going to respond to being cut. You’ve had it parted in the center for so long that it does want to fall that way. After you’ve had this style for a while that won’t happen. I’ll know your hair better and I can do the cut a lot faster,” she reassured Michelle.

“OK.” Michelle had had only a few quick peeks at what Kate was doing, but she liked what she had seen.

A few quick runs with the number one guide and a nicely tapered bottom edge was created. Michelle’s hair grew to a definite point in the back. Kate realized that it was a nice accent to the geometric look and decided to emphasize it.

“Michelle, I can’t give you the three points like I did for Paula, because your hairline comes to a single point in the back. But that will look quite good with your geometric cut. I’ll emphasize it a little,” Kate told her.

“That sound good Kate. I’m eager to see it,” Michelle replied.

There was a pause in the conversation while Kate worked her magic. Finally Michelle spoke.

“Kate, that little sparkly stone on the side of your nose – is your nose pierced for a stud?”

“It is pierced Michelle. I got it done about two weeks ago after I saw Ginny with hers. You saw hers didn’t you? Anyway it’s not a stud actually. It’s a post with a little twist at the end that keeps it from coming out. Are you thinking of getting one? I really like it. You should have a couple more earrings too now that your ears have come out of hiding,” Kate laughed.

“It looks nice – not gaudy or cheap at all. Now that you mention it I think I will get my ears pierced again. Maybe I’ll get three. Cindy would you like another set,” she asked.

“Could I Mother. That would be cool. Melissa and Penny both have two and they look really nice,” Cindy exclaimed excitedly.

“We’ll do it as soon as we have an opportunity Cindi,” Michelle promised.

Kate had taken off the guide and was using the clipper over comb method to finish the tapering of the back. She was almost satisfied. She edged along the hairline behind Michelle’s ear and along the sides of the point to give it a little more definition. A bit more work with scissors and comb in the back and sides and she went back to the top where she knew more work was necessary. She combed up several sections at different locations to see what she needed to do. Once again she began parting off sections which she cut a little shorter making each cut in a slightly curving line from side to top. To be sure she had everything right she repeated the entire process, making certain that there were no uneven spots going from back to front. Michelle’s bangs originated at the crown of her head, but the hair there did not exceed four inches. It became longer toward the front where it was a maximum length of four or five inches where the bangs came down over her forehead. Much more hair from further back and the bangs would have gotten too dense and thick to look good. Kate had coaxed Michelle’s hair not to split along the old center part line by combing it forward while it was still damp.

“I’m going to put a little mousse on it Michelle and blow dry it so I can get it looking exactly right.” She sprayed water on Michelle’s hair. “Then you can see it,” Kate told her.

She ejected a generous ball of foam mousse into her hand and and tousled Michelle’s hair a bit to get the mousse evenly distributed. The blow dryer came to life as Kate made sure that the part did not reappear by using her round brush to direct Michelle hair forward from the crown. In short order it was done and Kate used her regular brush to touch it up.

“Well Michelle I suppose you would like to see how it looks. Let’s ask Cindi her opinion first. What do you of your Mother’s new look. Cindi? ” She asked.

“Mother, You look super! You look like a model from one of those fashion magazines. Dad is going to love it!” Cindi was ecstatic at the transformation.

“Hang on to you seat Michelle,” Kate said as she turned her toward the mirror.

“My heavens, Kate. It is a transformation. I can hardly recognize myself. Do I really look that good?” she asked.

[img border=”0″ src=”http://www.1hss.com/images/the_flattopper/blond_part16_1.jpg” align=”right”]“Well, you lost two things – a lot of hair and six or eight years. Now you barely look old enough to be Cindi’s Mother. I hope Cindi can handle having such a young looking Mother,” Kate told her.

“Michelle, Kate underestimated the effect. I think you look ten years younger. You look quite sensational with that cut,” April weighed in on the matter.

“Mother, if you want to be my big sister I’m OK with that. Maybe we could pass as sisters the way Ginny and Mrs. Brower did,” Cindi added laughing.

“It’s absolutely wonderful, Kate. I’ve never felt better about myself in my life.” She reached up to touch the back of her neck. “And it feels so marvelous. Can I seen the back?” Michelle asked.

“Here you go. You do look pretty awesome Michelle. All that hair had really weighed you down. Before you go I want you to look at one more picture. It’s actually a pixie cut. It would look even more sensational on you than this beautiful geometric cut. I just want to put the idea into you head for future reference,” Kate told her.

“Goodness that is really cute, isn’t it. If I had seen that first I might have had you cut it just like that. It’s almost exactly the same color too. When I come back in about three weeks I’m going to r
emember that. Thank you Kate. I think you have liberated another couple of stick-in-the-mud’s. You’re very good at that aren’t you?” Michelle commented.

“I think it just the influence of this old barber chair. It seems to put rebellious thoughts in people’s minds,” Kate said with mock seriousness.

“You’re probably right, Kate. Come on Cindi, lets go show off our new haircuts. I don’t think I’ve felt more lighted headed in my life. I can’t wait to see James’ reaction. I’m so giddy, I’m not sure I should be driving,” Michelle laughed.

Kate had removed the cape, but Michelle had remained seated as she observed her new image. The smile on her face threatened to split open. Finally she got out of the chair and walked unsteadily to the little counter where she fumbled in her purse to get the money to pay Kate for their haircuts. Finally she began to get herself back together. She paid Kate and gave her a generous tip.

“Don’t forget your pony tail Michelle. Here it is and here is the address of where you can send it,” Kate reminded her.

“Thanks, Kate. I would have forgotten it for sure. My brain is almost not working at the moment,” Michelle laughed.

“April, I would like to stay and see how you get your hair cut, but I have to get Cindy back to meet with her friends. Besides I want to shock the pants off James. Well, maybe not literally. On second though, maybe I do,” she said laughing. “I’m feeling very adventurous for some reason.” She laughed again as she and Cindi went out the door.

“That’s OK Michelle. Good luck with James,” April called as they left.

Kate swept up the floor which had collected quite a bit of cut off hair from Cindi and Michelle. With the floor swept and the chair brushed off, Kate was ready for the next haircut.

“Well April, I’m finally ready for you,” she said cheerfully.

“You are quite an artist Kate. What I want won’t be nearly the challenge as the haircuts you gave those two. I have a couple of pictures that Jill found on a French web site. Here they are. They’re about the same except that one is a little shorter than the other. I like them both about equally, because I can’t really see the difference. The lengths are in millimeters. I looked that up and found a conversion table. They both had their hair bleached and colored white almost the same as my hair. I think I would look a lot like them when I get my cut,” April explained.

Kate had been looking at the pictures and the numbers given for how short they were.

“They are short April. Let’s see this one. Côté means side and it’s only two millimeters. That’s between an eight and a sixteenth of an inch. Dessus means on top and 5 millimeters is a little less than a quarter of an inch. Let’s see the other picture. Wow! That is really short. Only one millimeter on the sides. That’s only a little bit more than a thirty second of an inch. And the top is only 2 millimeters which is less than an eighth of an inch. Is that what you want April?” You would look better than either of these women I’m sure, but it’s very close to being shaved.”

“That’s what I want all right. I’ve been considering it for more than a week. With Jill keeping her head shaved and seeing all those shaved girls and other women who have those short buzzes and Steffie with her head shaved, my itch to get mine cut really short has really gotten unbearable. So I’m here to have you take care of my itch,” she laughed. “By the way, you knew those words immediately. Do you speak French?”

“I used to, but not too well now. I lived in Quebec until I was nine, when we moved to the States. I can still read it pretty well, and Jill took French in High School and I tried to speak it with her.” Kate answered. “Just how do you want me to cut it?”

“Like these pictures, just so it’s at least that short. I suppose I have to come back every week to keep it that way won’t I?” April responded.

“I’ll do it. I don’t have a clipper that’s calibrated in millimeters. But I can get pretty close. You know Ginny, that Heather’s other daughter, has hers cut almost the same way and she comes in every Monday to have it cleaned up. It takes only about ten minutes and I charge just $7.50 for that kind of maintenance. Are you ready?” Kate asked.

April had already taken a seat in the barber chair while Kate looked at the pictures.

“Indeed I am. I look forward to having lunch with Jill. It’s been a good while since we’ve have compatible haircuts. We use to do it often, but somehow we got out of the habit. With a little incentive I might just get mine shaved, although I suppose the difference between this and shaved in really not worth worrying about,” April said.

“Keeping it shaved is maybe a little more work,” Kate said as she caped April. “This is a pretty easy haircut. I’m not going to waste much time doing it a little at a time assuming that you haven’t changed your mind. Just let me know if you’re ready,” Kate told her.

“There’s no doubt that I’m ready. Go right ahead and take it all off right to the bone as they say, As close to shaved as you can get easily.” April reinforced her desire to get a very close clipper cut.

“Coming right up April. I have the feeling that this is going to be a great look for you,” Kate seconded April’s choice.

Kate made sure her big clipper was clean and oiled. She snapped on a number one guide and turned it on.

“I guess there is no reason not to get right to it is there April?” Kate said giving April a chance to change her mind.

“Well only if you are worried that I might be unhappy and sue you or something like that,” April giggled. “Don’t hesitate at all Kate, just get right to it please.”

“I’m convinced April,” Kate said as she put the clipper at April’s forehead, pushed it back all the way to the crown and allowed the hair to fall where it would. Kate didn’t very often get to do this cut, or more accurately a somewhat longer version of it. She had a couple of women clients who had kept their heads clipper shaved for nearly a year before they were persuaded by husbands, friends, family or colleagues to adopt a more “normal” style. Still it was one of Kate’s favorites, even on women who didn’t have white hair (either natural or artificial.)

“I love this style April. You do realize that you’re going to look like a little girl again,” she joked.

“Oh, I know. I had it in a quarter inch buzz a couple of years ago and several people who though that anything shorter than chin length was not ‘proper’ in a mature woman, commented that I looked much younger. I’m not sure they meant it as a compliment thought,” April laughed.

During this exchange Kate had buzzed off all the hair on top of April’s head and made a pass from front to back just above the temple on each side. It was a little rough and not very even. She was eager to get all the longer hair removed so she could go over it carefully making sure it was even.

Kate was interested in American history and had just finished reading a biography of Benjamin Franklin. As she finished clipping the top of April’s head she realized that it looked a lot like the picture of Franklin with his male pattern baldness and the remainder of his hair hanging down to his collar. Now she gently pushed April’s head down so she could reach under the bob and and clipper the hair on the back of her head. ‘No more Benjamin Franklin’ she thought, laughing to herself.

The back yielded to her clipper in a few moments. Now the sides received the same treatment. Once again she gently pushed April’s head, this time to the side and ran the clippers up under the carefully cut sides of April’s bob. In little more that the time needed to describe it April’s hair had been removed leaving only a rough eight inch cut that needed a lot of cleaning up.

“Well April, it’s pretty rough still, but you can see what the end result is going to be. I like it. You have a well shaped head, and perfect ears for this cut,” Kate announced
enthusiastically as she turned April to face the mirror.

“You’re right Kate. I feel a lot younger and more frisky already,” she agreed.

Kate had removed the guide and snapped off the head replacing it with a number zero head which she knew cut a little longer than the one sixteenth advertised and would be a little closer to the 2 millimeters that one of the pictures stated was all that was left on the top of that woman’s head. She started running her clipper over April’s head, front to back and then side to side to make sure that it was even. With it that short any unevenness would be obvious. The ridges that had been present a few minutes earlier had disappeared. She gave the sides, back and crown the same careful treatment. April was clearly enjoying the experience and the feel of the clipper as it did its work.

Kate turned off the clipper and hung it on the hook under the counter. She picked up her adjustable clipper and set it to one thirty second of an inch. That was the nearest she could get to the one millimeter cut that was done on the woman in the picture that April had showed her. The final result would be a little shorter than the shorter of the two cuts that April had shown her.

Without any hesitation at all she began running the clipper up the side of April’s head going up quite high – a little past the point where it curved and became the top of her head. In the back she did the same going almost up to the crown so that the transition would be at the same height around April’s head. She checked several times to be sure that the transition from the very nearly shaved sides to the very short top was at the same location completely around April’s head and looked exactly right. When she was satisfied she set the adjustable clipper to it closest setting of one sixty fourth of an inch. Using it free hand she went around April’s head once again creating a clean transition at the hairline the way the pictures had indicated that the two women had been treated.

While she was cleaning up April’s neck the little bell rang and Kate turned to greet who had entered.

“Audra!. You made it. I’m glad to see you. I’m almost finished with April here,” she said.

“Audra? Steffie’s niece. Is that you, Audra?” April asked. “I sure didn’t expect to run into you you here today.” She turned to see Audra.

“Hi, Ma’am. Oh, you’re Jill’s Mom aren’t you?” Audra said, surprised.

That’s right Audra. We met at the barbecue, although you and the other girls were having so much fun I’m surprised you remember me. I”m April Douglas,” April reminded Audra. “What brings you to Kate’s shop. You seem to have a pretty short cut already.”

“I remember now Mrs. Douglas. Wow, you’re getting yours cut really short. It looks super,” Audra exclaimed. “Anyway, I come in every Saturday to get mine redone. It has to be cut super short like yours to look good,” she explained.

“Audra, Cindi is a good friend of yours isn’t she?” Kate said. “Well, you missed a good show. Cindi and her Mom just left after getting their hair cut.”

“Cindi got her hair cut!” Audra exclaimed in disbelief.

“Yes she did and Michelle did also, but I’m not going to tell how it was cut because it was supposed to be a surprise I think,” Kate replied.

“Well, I’m supposed to go over to her house about one thirty, so I’ll see it then. I guess I’m not too surprised. Ever since the fourth of July she’s been acting a little different. She likes my haircut, and she really liked the way Beth looks. I think her Dad liked Mrs. Brower’s buzz cut and the way my Aunt Steffie looks,” Audra explained.

“Don’t worry. You’ll make it in plenty of time. You’re done April. You look superb, if I do say so myself. I suppose I should let you have a look at it yourself,” Kate teased as she rotated the chair to face the mirror.

April looked at herself for a moment turning her head from side to side. Finally a large smile appeared on her face. “I don’t think I’m going to sue for malpractice after all Kate,” she said as she burst into a warm laugh. “It’s wonderful. I do look sort of like a little kid again. I think maybe I’ll be able to jump up and click my heels.”

“I think you need to feel it too, April. I should give you a shampoo to get rid of all the tiny hairs that are probably stuck to your scalp. You can do it when you get home, though,” Kate advised her.

April took her hand from under the cape and put it on top of her head. She rubbed it briefly then went to the back of her head where she felt the very short bristles. She smiled even more broadly as she rubbed it. “Kate I really love it. I think that you did indeed relieve my itch. I guess I’ll be seeing you every week for the foreseeable future. This is just what I wanted. I’m not sure I will be able to stand it even one millimeter longer from now on,” she told her.

“Oh my. I think we’re in trouble here,” Kate exclaimed laughing. “You’ll have to come in daily to keep it that close. Maybe your itch won’t be unbearable if you come in only once a week, although that would still be a couple of millimeters.”

“I guess I was being a little extreme, but I’m going to have a pretty bad itch after a week. So you may see me mid week sometimes if I’m doing something special like having dinner out with a friend. It’s the most wonderful look and feel that I’ve ever had,” she informed Kate.

[img border=”0″ src=”http://www.1hss.com/images/the_flattopper/blond_part16_2.jpg” align=”right”]”It looks fabulous Mrs. Douglas. My Aunt Steffie used to get her hair bleached blond after she had a short buzz cut and I thought it looked super good. I think light blond or white hair looks wonderful on almost everybody, especially if it is short like yours,” Audra reinforced April’s assessment.

“It’s definitely a winner April. You know that you and Jill are going to to look like sisters for sure,” Kate informed her.

“That thought went through my mind. We do look alike and if I dressed in a little more trendy style, and used a little more makeup, I might just fool some people,” she said with a laugh.

“That a good idea Mrs. Douglas. Maybe you and Jill could wear matching outfits when you come to the next meeting at the Herb Garden. It’s a week from tomorrow,” Audra reminded her.

“What an interesting idea, Audra. When I was a little girl about six or seven years old, my Mother had matching dresses made for us. In fact we had several matching dresses which we wore to church and even when she took me shopping with her. When I got a little older I rebelled at the idea and I wouldn’t have dreamed of subjecting Jill to such a fate. But now it might be fun. I’m going to ask her,” April responded.

Audra had gotten into the barber chair and Kate was already tidying up her head with her clipper set at a sixteenth of an inch. Audra’s hair was only longer that April’s on the sides and back.

“I’m afraid I have to go Kate,” April said.

“Well I’ll see you next week I guess. How much do I owe you?” April asked.

“Usually it’s twenty five, but yours was so easy and quick its only twenty,” She answered.

“That’s so little Kate. How can you stay in business?” April asked.

“Well, I doing fine. I have a lot of clients, so I’m busy most of the day six days a week. It works out well and I truly enjoy it, especially when I can give a woman a haircut like yours,” Kate answered.

April gave Kate twenty five dollars.

“Thanks April. I’m very glad you’re so happy with your almost no haircut,” Kate laughed.

The bell rang again. Kate turned to see who had come in. “Hello Elaine, and you too Joe. I guess you’re here for some tidying up. One of you is next,” she greeted them. “How did you manage to get out without the twins?”

Elaine laughed. “Joe’s Mother came over to visit and volunteered to take care of them for a few hours while we came here and did some shopping,” she explained. “Did you just do this absolutely gorgeous haircut Kate?

“Yes, I d
id. This is April. April this is Elaine. She and Joe have been regular clients for several years now.”

“The color of your hair is something to die for. And that is a fabulous cut. I love it April,” Elaine bubbled with enthusiasm. “Joe, stop staring and close your mouth. Would you be upset if I got a cut like that?”

“Me! No, of course not, but I think your Mom would be freaked out and mine would think you were being a little bit radical,” he replied. “Of course she’s a little weird herself when it comes to haircuts. Go for it Elaine. You black girls always look great with your hair shaved. Just look at her.” He indicated Audra.

“Well, Elaine I appreciate the compliment. I do love this cut and I’m not letting it grow out anytime soon. Joe is right. You would look stunning with it cut like mine or Audra’s over there,” April responded.

“Hang on folks. I can’t let anyone else in until after lunch.” Kate flipped the sign to the Closed until 1:30 PM side. “I’ll let you out so I can latch the door April.”

“Thanks for a great haircut Kate. Elaine you have my permission to copy this patented haircut. You won’t regret it,” April said as she left.

Kate went back to finish up Audra. She had already outlined the nape crescent and around Audra’s ears. She was ready to finish up by shaving the hairline.

“That is a great cut Audra. You look just super. Joe, I’m going for it,” Elaine informed him. “I’ve wanted to do something for myself ever since the twins were born. And this is it.”

“Like I said, you will be outstanding,” I wouldn’t have married a black girl if she didn’t have a mind of her own and wanted to shave her head,” he joked.

“You’re nuts, you know. I guess I wouldn’t have married a white guy unless he was a little bit nuts and liked bald black girls,” Elaine responded laughing.

There you go Audra, all done and back to your fabulous self,” Kate told her as she unfastened the cape.

“Thanks, Kate. In all the excitement I almost forgot. I’ve decided to get it waxed the way you suggested. When can I do that? Audra asked.

“When can you come in Audra. I guess you have a lot going on during the week, and Saturday is not a good day for me. Could you make it Thursday or Friday evening?” Kate responded.

“I think that Thursday would work. I’ll talk to Mamma and see if she can bring me. I’ll call you when I find out,” Audra answered. She gave Kate a ten dollar bill.

Kate started to give her change. “No, Kate. Aunt Steffie said I should tell you to keep the change,” Audra said.

“Well, thank you Audra, and tell your Aunt Steffie that I thank her too. See you next week Audra.” Kate unlatched the door and let Audra out, then latched it.

“Looks like it’s your turn in this old barber chair Elaine – for a nice clipper shave.”

To be continued in Part 17

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